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Bistrot Beyrouth: The best Lebanese pastries in Paris.

Bistrot Beyrouth: The best Lebanese pastries in Paris.

If you are looking for Lebanese pastries in Paris, Bistrot Beyrouth is where you want to get them from. Baked to the perfect golden crisp and with the right touch of honey so the sweetness won’t make you hit your sugar wall instantly, the Baklava (layers of fillo pastry and cashew nuts brushed with butter), Bookaj (pyramid-shaped pastry with cashew nut filling in layers of fillo pastry and topped with pistachios) or Lady fingers (crunchy ground cashew nuts tightly rolled into fillo pastry), to name a few, will make you go back and order more. Count 5€ for an assortment of 6 pastries. Also, Bistrot Beyrouth serves an amazing rose-flavored infusion served with fresh mint leaves and aniseeds—it is their version of the traditional Lebanese café blanc (white coffee) and is a perfect hot beverage to accompany the pastries. The food is good (they serve a Lebanese-style burger with homemade French fries that I have to try) and the service is great. The service is non-stop from noon until midnight and the food can be ordered to go.

Bistrot Beyrouth
103 Rue de Charonne
75011 Paris
tel: 01.43.70.23.92
Metro: Charonne

M-Sat: 12pm-2am (Food is served all day until 12am)
Closed on Sunday

Café Charlot in Paris: The perfect hamburger fix.

Café Charlot in Paris: The perfect hamburger fix.

When I feel like eating a hamburger I head straight for Café Charlot in the Marais, right across the street from the Marché des Enfants Rouges, on rue de Bretagne. Here it is served with the right kind of bread, a soft sesame seed bun, a perfectly cooked burger (medium-rare by default), with everything it should have inside, and crispy French fries. It’s actually a cheeseburger and it costs €15. For the same price you can also order a delicious, and organic, chicken burger, also served with fries. Among the other gourmet sandwiches are the BLT, the hot sandwich Charlot (cheese, beef and grilled onions served on a french roll) and Café Charlot’s own take on the classic croques: le croque jeune homme and le croque jeune fille.
That’s for the sandwich section, there are also some classic French dishes a la carte such as bavette à l’echalotte or swordfish steak served with green beans. Aside from the food, the service is amicable and fast. If you stand out and like to be noticed you are more likely to be stared at, just as much as you can entertain yourself checking out the very Parisian crowd that itself cries for attention!
Other good places in the neighborhood that I recommend are Rose Bakery (another “trendy” place) and Breizh Café (a refreshing bowl of down-to-earthness!)

Café Charlot
38 Rue de Bretagne
75003 Paris
tel: 01.44.54.03.30
Metro: Filles du Calvaire

7/7
M-Sun: 7am-2am (Food is served all day until 12am)

Le Refectoire: French bistro food.

Le Refectoire: French bistro food.

Le refectoire means refectory. The water glasses are the same ones that French kids drink out of in the school cafeteria (the ones that have a number at the bottom.) The dishes served overall are traditional bistro food, sometimes with a twist such as the hachis parmentier (a ground beef-mash potato dish) made here with boudin noir sausage instead of beef. It would have been perfect if served a bit warmer. The hamburger comes with bacon, cheese and avocado and is served with good fries. The place gets very busy around lunch time and quickly empties as people go back to work. Le Refectoire is open all day every day of the week, the wine is cheap and good, there’s free WI-FI, the atmosphere is nice, the servers are very friendly and the few tables on the sidewalk (I’m not going to call it a terrasse) get a lot of sun. You might even get the unsolicited company of the house cat.

Le Refectoire
80 Boulevard Richard Lenoir
75011 Paris
tel: 01.48.06.74.85
Metro: Richard Lenoir, Saint-Ambroise

7/7
M-Sat: 8.30am-12am (lunch: 12pm-2.30pm
dinner: 8pm-11pm)
Sun: 11am-4pm

L’Emile: where to have a burger and a late drink in Paris, near the Louvre.

L’Emile: where to have a burger and a late drink in Paris, near the Louvre.

You are done visiting the Louvre, you are starving and you have a craving for a burger? L’Emile has a good cheeseburger on their menu and it is served with crispy french fries. The meat is juicy, the bun is sweet and soft and it comes with crispy bacon, onions, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, a sweet dill pickle and thousand island dressing. That is probably the only item on L’Emile’s menu that is American, everything else is French: tartare, lamb roast, beef sirloin with Bearnaise sauce… Main dishes are around 25€, the cheeseburger is 17€ (14€ at lunch time). The kitchen closes at 11.30pm but drinks can still be ordered until 2am.

L’Emile
8 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau
75001 Paris
tel: 01.42.60.08.00
Metro: Louvre-Rivoli

M-F: 12am-2pm / 8pm-11.30pm
Sat: 8pm-11.30pm
Closed on Sunday